After 24 years of being a confidence booster and making people feel good on the outside as a hairstylist, Wendi felt a strong calling to shift careers and focus on helping others to feel good on the inside! As a mindset coach, Wendi helped women gain the confidence to be the CEO of their own life. Now as President & CEO of In2it Digital, Wendi passionately advocates for entrepreneurs, small businesses, companies, and nonprofits who are looking to amplify their results. In2It Digital is a boutique marketing agency based in Des Moines, Iowa. They specialize in heartfelt design and marketing services for leaders and companies.She also co-hosts a YouTube show and podcast, called “Your Sasstastic Life’ with Tricia Rivas. She has a love for coffee, the ocean, and all things personal growth! She loves spending time with her family and friends, kayaking, and listening to music.
Renee Hardman is Broadlawns Medical Center's first Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer and VP of HR. She has an MBA and SPHR certification, and made history as the first African American woman elected to the West Des Moines City Council. Renee has also served as CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa and Senior VP of HR at Bankers Trust. She is a community advocate and has received numerous awards for her civic engagement, including being inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. Renee's life passion is advancing the work of DEI and serving as a role model for young people.
Kathleen is an executive strategist, trainer with Canoan Strategy, and President of the Endow Urbandale Community Foundation Board. She owns Farrell’s Martial Arts, the 2022 Urbandale Small Business of the Year, and hosts "The Kathleen Riessen Show" podcast. Kathleen is a certified Master Leader and mentor for Boston Breakthrough Academy's Mastering Leadership Program, a Leadership Iowa graduate, and former CPA. She has served on the National American Advertising Federation Board and was awarded the Silver Medalist Lifetime Achievement Award. Kathleen is also a proud mom to three boys and two dogs.
Lilian Okech is an author, speaker, and owner of Cleaning for Hope, a Des Moines-based commercial cleaning service that hires and supports refugee families. Born in a refugee camp in Uganda, she came to the U.S. with her family in 2005, and faced struggles as a refugee and in an abusive arranged marriage. Her experience in the Polk County Jail was a wake-up call to start her own business and become a mentor for women and immigrants. Okech is also the co-founder of the nonprofit Hope to Shine, which focuses on job training and mentorship opportunities for female immigrants and refugees.
Courtney Jennings co-founded Pure Sweat and Float Studio with her husband and business partner to provide a peaceful haven for people to restore and replenish amidst daily stress. Inspired by her experience at a similar facility in Nashville, Courtney is passionate about promoting the health benefits of infrared saunas and float therapy. As an advocate for mental wellness, she believes in prioritizing one's mental health and empowers individuals to do so through her work at Pure Sweat and Float Studio, the first of its kind in the Midwest.
Karie Kading Ramsey
With a passion for building workforce housing communities across the State of Iowa, Karie is an advocate of building communities that help cities and towns grow and prosper and that bring Iowans home.
She leads as CEO of Kading, a family-owned company rooted in Urbandale since 1977 that develops, builds, and manages affordable housing in Central Iowa.
Karie is the past president of CREW Iowa an organization supporting women in commercial real estate, a member of the Urbandale Endow board, and a member of the Urbandale Economic Advisory. She served as a board member of the Iowa chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society where she was named their 2018 Woman of the Year.
Heidi Watkins is a finance professional with twenty-three years of professional experience, including nineteen years in not-for-profit finance administration. She currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Des Moines Performing Arts, overseeing all financial operations, ticketing, and database administration of this premier arts organization. Heidi holds a MBA from Iowa State University, obtained her CPA license in 1999, and is active in the Iowa Society of CPAs.